When does a mid-size sedan become a top-notch competitor to the Toyota Camry? The answer is apparently whenever said competitor begins stealing market share from America's top-selling sedan.

Bloomberg reports that Toyota North America Chairman Yoshimi Inaba called the Hyundai Sonata "a very honorable contender in the market" during an interview earlier this week. Inaba adds that Toyota has great respect for the strong-selling Hyundai, and we're guessing they're not the only automaker keeping an ever closer eye on Camp Hyundai. Sales of the Sonata soared by 35 percent in 2010 to 196,623 units. Meanwhile, 2010 Camry sales dropped by 31 percent to 327,804 units. To make matters worse for Toyota and the Camry, supply disruptions stemming from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami have further hurt Camry sales while the Sonata continues to attract new buyers. In fact, the Sonata outsold the Camry in May, in part because of Toyota's production issues.

But while the Sonata has been gaining on the Camry, that trend could reverse itself with an all-new Camry set to arrive later this year. Toyota President Akio Toyoda already told U.S. dealers in June that the new model will feature a more contemporary design, and we're hearing rumblings of a hugely improved interior, as well.


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  • 41 Comments
      guyverfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope this means a nine-speed transmission and stop-start for the next Camry. Either way, I think the Sonata is a great car. :)
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm glad that Toyota is realizing their mistakes and trying to fix them.
        founerra
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        It's been years since I'd considered a Toyota, it was the Highlander, although I just got a 2005 Ford F-150 instead, now Toyota just barely starting to make their cars more desirable, but we will all see.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Emil
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Everytime I see the Sonata, it just gets uglier and uglier." I guess you meant Camry; don't worry, everybody makes typos ;)
        skitheeast36
        • 3 Years Ago
        And what car do you drive?
        Oceanblue78
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree the car is hard look at. I think it primarily sells because it is dirt cheap to buy. It is way over done and hurts my eyes from the front. I absolutely cannot stand having one stopped at a light accross from me just makes me cringe.
        jaazani
        • 3 Years Ago
        Austin Dude the majority of people in the US do not buy cars for performance. 99.9% of US drivers will never see a track. Hyundai brilliantly makes a reliable car that looks relatively stylish for a reasonable price.
          Oceanblue78
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jaazani
          Who says you have to see a track? And Hyundai only recently becme reliable...many other automakers have been doing it for years. Why people think Hyundai is some great and might company because they finally got off their rear ends and built something half way decent and reliable is beyond me. Same for Kia.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        peter
        • 3 Years Ago
        He came to Hyundai AFTER the Sonata was launched. He had nothing to do with it.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @peter
          [blocked]
      Edward
      • 3 Years Ago
      The next Camry looks dated by comparison to the already year old Sonata. Look for more shrinkage for Toyota as a result.
        Diggz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Edward
        i agree.. ive seen the "new" Camry months ago and i couldnt really tell it from the current one!!
        sysadm1n
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Edward
        With your logic the 2011 Porsche 911 might as well be the same as one from 1995. After all they all the same.
          fly by wireless
          • 3 Years Ago
          @sysadm1n
          Porsche's unique in that their product's design goal is to minimize change. The Camry's in a totally different ball game where change isn't an option. The comparison does not apply.
      GPIG
      • 3 Years Ago
      glad to see toyota showing more class than most of the hyundai fans on here
      TC
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is a huge honor for Hyundai. The Japanese do not honor competitors with this kind of recognition often. Good job Hyundai.
        fly by wireless
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TC
        Not just Toyota's people have recognized Hyundai. Let's just say the Japanese news media have already noticed that the Beast (Hyundai) has awakened and is hungry for Japan's lunch. LOLJ!!! Just as I was warning them, the media happen to take it up that Hyundai was doing them damage in the U.S. Surprised they didn't mention Europe but that's ok. The math will be done...
      • 3 Years Ago
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        Dest
        • 3 Years Ago
        Everyone should be worried about Hyundai. I know a lot of people were cross-shopping domestics and Hyundais and most chose the Hyundais in the end.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dest
          [blocked]
      Oceanblue78
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ok seriously enough with the earthquake excuse. Isn't it possible that people just found out there are better cars than the camry?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      soundbargaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      All the geriatrics are in for a good mid-sized sedan battle...
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